Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore, who has covered Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia for a variety of publications since 1979. He is the author of five Taliban (2000); Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia (2008); Jihad (2002); and The Resurgence of Central Asia (1994). His latest book is Pakistan on the Brink, The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Both Taliban and Descent into Chaos are on course lists at over 200 universities and defence colleges around the world. His books have won numerous prizes and he lectures widely at universities, defence colleges, and conferences around the world.
He has informally advised governments, the UN, and other institutions on bringing peace to Afghanistan. In 2001, he donated one-third of his book profits to starting the ‘Open Media Fund of Afghanistan’ which helped revitalize the media and helped launch a dozen newspapers and magazines in Kabul. He is a founding director of the Lahore Literary Festival that was instrumental in Lahore being nominated as a City of Culture by UNESCO.
Foreign Policy magazine chose him, twice, as one of the world’s most important 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010. In December 2009, he was appointed a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and in 2018 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group. He has also served on the Board of Advisers for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva for five years.